3 Ways to Make a Killer Website
We’ve all seen those websites. The super cool, tripped out, makes-you-want-to-dink-around-and-find-out-more-about-the-company-behind-it kind of website. From a digital marketing perspective, being one of those websites is a matter of paying attention to the right details that make a site feel professional, building a solid base, then layering on the trending technology to keep it modern. A website, like a storefront, is an opportunity to introduce people to your brand. It’s the online face of your company and if you want to really nail the branding, you’ll want to make sure you’re making the most of your digital space.
The Website Basics
- Mobile First: You can have the flashiest website in the history of the internet, but if it ain’t functional, it ain’t gonna convert. So the basics need to be covered. These days that means built for mobile first. Studies show over 60% of website visits came from a mobile platform last year. If over half of your visitors are going to be on their phones when they visit your site and it’s not optimized for mobile, you can bet they’re gonna cut their visit short.
- UX: The user experience on your site is one of the most basic marketing ideas. It’s the same as a physical store. Think of it this way: what journey will your visitors be taking from the moment they walk in, to the moment they walk out? -And- how can you manipulate where you put things to improve that journey and promote the content you want them to see the most?
- IA: This is where information architecture or IA comes into play. You want to make sure the information you’re trying to give your customers is laid out correctly and organized on the site to not only give it a logical flow but also to promote efficiency on the backside of things. Faster load times mean less waiting, and since we live in a need-it-now era, shorter waits translate to longer visit times.
The Marketing Basics
Once your website has been built with the consumer journey in mind, it’s time to add a layer of spice. Layout and user journey are solid, but now what do your visitors do with all this great information? You have to add the Call To Action (CTA), the Search Engine Optimization (SEO), the Social Shares, and the Messenger Pop-Ups. Make it easy for your visitors to do what you want and for search engines to get them there.
Each Website Should Include a Call to Action.
Whether it’s a contact us button, an “add to cart,” or “sign up here,” an appropriate and natural “what to do next” should be present when the user completes their scroll. The important part here is to remember this doesn’t (and shouldn’t) feel like a used car lot. You don’t want to interrupt the journey with the CTA. You want it to be an organic checkpoint that doesn’t feel like a sales pitch.
Then You Have Your SEO.
If you’ve been building it right, SEO will already be part of your framework. Making sure your load times are optimized, your copy is on point, and your links are crawlable makes a huge difference to how many people are able to find you. It’s always good to check in on everything during the build, but it’s also something that should be maintained. Fix broken links and re-write poorly performing copy.
Social Share Buttons are a Staple These Days.
If your main pages don’t have those fancy logos on the bottom linking to your brand’s social pages stop what you’re doing and add them in right now. Seriously. Then, add them to anything you want to spread the word about. Think blogs, product pictures, or anything cool on your site that helps make your brand known. Again, don’t lose visitors because they can’t get around the share button to what they care about, but make sure it’s present in an unobtrusive, yet obvious way.
Messenger Pop-Ups Can Be a Huge Win.
Depending on your industry, messenger pop-ups could really explode the number of interactions with your site. People love feeling like they can cut through the red-tape of your website layout. They feel they can get the information they need promptly. Messenger bots are super easy to use. And, if you have a workforce to put behind it, live chat with a support team is an incredible opportunity. Just make sure you also give the option to hide the chat window (and make it easy to get back) so you’re not interrupting the experience.
Going In for the Kill
Okay, enough with the basics…Here’s the killer one-two punch. Once you have a solid foundation, you can start to layer in the fun stuff. AR, VR, and interactive elements are three trends that are emerging, and no one seems to know quite what to do with them. The big players have invested in making these three elements a part of their website but now it’s becoming affordable for the rest of us and it’s time to roll up the sleeves.
AR adds an element of personalization. Think here about how your brand can add an AR element to make each visitor feel special. For e-commerce sites, this is a perfect storm allowing you to showcase your products IN your customer’s home before they buy.
VR is another element that is amazing right now, but no one seems to know what to do with it. It’s like we have this awesome Ferrari that no one knows how to race. So again, the advice is to get creative. Got a sweet looking office or storefront? Give people a virtual tour! This option is great for anything that has a history or more information that can be shared. Think brewery tour. Historical buildings. Anything that makes people feel like they can “escape” where they are and see something cool.
Interactive elements to your website are going to be the easiest trend for most to implement. Our favorite LinkedIn Blogger Steve (aka our Director of New Business Development) wrote an entire article on how to do interactive marketing on your website.
License to Kill
So now you know the “what” that makes for a killer website, now you need the “how.” If you’re experienced with websites, you know the things we’re suggesting here are not entry level items. If you don’t have the knowledge and experience to implement these suggestions, how about working with a team that does? We do a lot of things here at Michaels Wilder, but since websites are the core of digital marketing, we do websites a whole lot. And we do them well. If your site needs a little Wilder Thinking to get it to that “killer” status, give our guys a call.